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BOOK
My Boring-Ass Life
The Uncomfortably Candid Diary of Kevin Smith

Author: Kevin Smith
Titan Books
RRP: 9.99, US $14.95, Cdn $19.95
ISBN-13: 978 1 84576 538 5
ISBN-10: 1 84576 538 9
Available 10 October 2007


The creator of Jay and Silent Bob shares his X-rated thoughts in his diary, telling all in his usual candid, heartfelt and irreverent way. Lewd, crude and hilariously rude, Kevin Smith pulls no punches in this hard-hitting, in-your-face exposé of, er, his rather dull and uneventful life... well, not always dull. In between watching his TiVo, he manages to make and release
Clerks II, relate the story of his partner-in-crime Jason Mewes's heroin addiction, get a tattoo, serve on a jury... and get caught stealing donuts from Burt Reynolds.
Thrown in are his views on the perils of strip clubs, the drawback of threesomes, the pain of anal fissures and his love-affair with Star Wars...

My Boring-Ass Life is an odd book. The majority of it reprints, I assume, over a year's worth of director Kevin Smith's online diary. Whether this has been edited at all is unclear as Smith's introduction doesn't really explain whether this is reprinted in its entirety or not.

While I am a huge fan of Smith (and I loved his Silent Bob Speaks book) I almost gave up on My Boring-Ass Life. By page 10 I had really had enough of Smith's rather dull life. But, because I am paid to, I persevered and read the entire 470 pages - and I am very glad that I did.

While it would seem, at first glance, that Smith's life revolves around being woken up by his two dogs, taking a morning dump, driving out for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and snacking throughout the day) on the worst kind of junk food (or the best, depending on your point of view), watching tons of bad (and the odd good) DVDs and falling asleep to TiVoed Simpsons episodes, after a while you kind of get sucked into his life.

Every now and then something interesting happens, like his wife (Jennifer Schwalbach) organises a charity poetry recital evening at their home with a number of celebrities giving readings; Smith keeps us up to date on his time on someone else's movie when he stars in Catch and Release; and Smith takes his young daughter, Harley, to get her ears pierced - but she panics at the last minute.

It's moments like these that show Smith in a different light. Love or hate his movies you can't get away from the fact that he is a pretty good dad. And, despite having more money than he knows what to do with (most of it goes on gambling at casinos) he comes across as a really down to earth guy.

However, there are sections of his book where he doesn't go into details - just gives us a hint that something is amiss. Firstly, while filming Catch and Release he reveals: "... a visiting Affleck buddies up to me a bit, but I blow him off, as I'm currently p*ssed at the guy." Smith doesn't go on to explain why he's p*ssed with Affleck and I assumed it was because of all those Internet rumours where Smith revealed, in an interview, that he was mad at Affleck because he hadn't asked him to guest star in the first movie he was directing. But apparently that's not the case (as Smith is on record as saying he was misquoted and that was a joke). So why was Smith annoyed with Affleck?

He also mentions that during an instant messaging chat someone who was due to work on Clerks 2 was discovered to not be who Smith thought they were and was dropped from the production. For a while Smith mentions this incident but, probably for legal reasons, we never find out what the full deal is.

For me though, the highlights came in the Me and My Shadow chapters which detail Jason (who plays Jay to Smith's Silent Bob) Mewes's long history of drug addiction - which he's thankfully now over; and Smith's cameo role in Bruce Willis's Live Free or Die Hard. There are also great stories around Smith meeting with Chevy Chase (when Smith was in the running to direct a new Fletch movie). This resulted in Chase giving a rather scathing interview where he slated Smith. Now we get to hear Smith's side, and it's quite an amusing story. And there's the Good Morning America movie critic Joel Siegel, who writes a terrible review of Clerks 2 after he stormed out of the press screening, making a spectacle of himself in the process. In response Smith lets rip at the guy, and to be honest I love the fact he has the ability to reply in such a way as to reach more people than Siegel ever had.

It's this right to reply that I applauded while reading this book, although I have to admit that I don't really understand why he goes on chat rooms to kick-off against saddos who post venom about him and his films. You can't reason with people like that, so why bother? Just let them get on with their sad little lives.

At the end of the day this is an interesting book that lets you spend just over a year in the life of Smith, his family and friends. While large chunks of his life are indeed boring, the majority is riveting stuff. Smith fans will love this, and be left wanting more. And more there is - as there is an online diary that is kept pretty much up to date.

Nick Smithson

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£5.99 (Amazon.co.uk)
   
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